With the school year drawing to a close, it can be easy to lose motivation and wonder if your hours of study will pay off in the end. If this sounds like you, we have five tips to help you regain motivation.
1. Think of the bigger picture: Keep your dream course and career at the forefront of your mind — the effort you put in now will bring you closer to that final goal. If the field of study you’re considering is notoriously difficult to enter (medicine, anyone?) try to use this to motivate yourself. You might strive to do well in a prerequisite subject or aim to achieve a certain ATAR. But remember, the bigger picture works both ways. If your study schedule is creating problems or deteriorating your health, remind yourself that Year 12 does not dictate the rest of your life… even if it seems like it now.
2. Put together (or reconsider) your revision schedule: People learn in different ways, so it’s important that your schedule is based on your own needs. You might plan around exam dates or with specific subjects in mind (such as those that are more theory-heavy or those that you have struggled with during the semester). You might also find that you revise some subjects more effectively at certain times of the day.
3. Take regular breaks: Research has shown that taking regular breaks during study helps you stay motivated and can help with memory retention. This might mean going for a jog or even just sitting down to read a magazine. If you study for six hours straight (or worse, ‘pull an all-nighter’), your chances of memory retrieval during a school-based assessment or exam are much lower than if you follow a sensible schedule with regular breaks.
4. Try to make study ‘fun’: It might not seem like it, but it is possible to have fun while studying — and in your last year of compulsory schooling you’ll probably want to enjoy yourself. Although you may need to give a few parties a miss, you could consider organising a movie night with friends where you watch a film you studied while comparing notes, or arranging a lunch date with a friend in your language class banning any use of English. For something a little less elaborate, you might simply think about making slight changes to the way you study (on a picnic rug in the backyard, for example) or your revision techniques (perhaps switching from writing notes to displaying content visually).
5. Don’t forget to reward yourself: If you’ve made a few sacrifices this year, use your achievements to reward yourself. If you’ve put in hours of study and achieved a high mark in a practice exam, recognise your efforts and treat yourself to something — whether it be spending an afternoon at the beach with friends or just going out for a coffee. And it goes without saying that if you achieve the score you wanted and/or gain entry into your preferred course that’s justified cause for a reward too.